Affinity Health: The Importance of Learning Basic First Aid
Affinity Health – providers of affordable health cover for all South Africans – highlights the importance of knowing basic First Aid.
You Never Know When You’ll Need First Aid
While you may know how to put on plaster on a scraped knee or take out a splinter in a finger, it is a stark fact that a staggering eight out of 10 people don’t know basic First Aid procedures.
Accidents, defined by Affinity Health as an unforeseen, sudden, unusual and specific incident or events, cannot be expected to happen and are unplanned.
When accidents do arise, it can be difficult to focus when you don’t know what you can and cannot do to stabilise a life-threatening.
From cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to stabilising a suspected sprain or fracture, to stopping bleeding and treating burns, learning basic First Aid teaches you life-saving skills and gives you the confidence to know what to do and how to act in an emergency.
“Accidents can and do happen despite the best preventive measures and safety practices. Without proper First Aid knowledge, a simple injury could become a serious one.
First Aid does not just promote faster recovery; it helps save lives,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.
“Every adult should know how to perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) whether they have children or not. Every adult should also know how to help someone choking, calm a fever, treat poisonings, care for minor cuts and burns, relieve insect stings and bites, and manage nosebleeds.
Every adult should also know what not to do in an emergency, such as move someone with a suspected spinal or head injury.”
How to Perform 6 Basic First Aid Procedures:
- Bleeding: Cover the wound with a towel or cloth and apply direct pressure to stop the blood flow.
- Burns: Flush the area with cool running water for several minutes. Do not use ice, or ointments, butter, or oil. Apply a light gauze bandage.
- Fracture: Never attempt to straighten a fracture. Instead, stabilise the limb using a splint and padding to keep it immobile. Apply a cold pack on the injury and elevate the extremity.
- Nosebleed: Lean the patient slightly forward (not back) and pinch the nose just below the bridge. Continue pinching and check bleeding after every 10 minutes to see if bleeding has stopped.
- Insect stings: Remove the sting if in the case of a bee by scraping over the sting. Use a cold pack to reduce swelling at the site and monitor the person who was stung by signs of anaphylaxis, including hives, redness or itching in other areas of the body, and shortness of breath.
- CPR: CPR should only be performed when a person shows no signs of life or is unconscious, unresponsive, not breathing, or not breathing normally. Learning CPR is an intensive procedure that requires some training, usually in the form of a day-long class. Numerous CPR training courses, as well as introductory First Aid courses, are available across South Africa.
Stocking a First Aid Kit
A basic First Aid kit should include:
- Anti-bacterial wipes
- Gauze pads
- Medical gloves
- Medical instrument kit
- Burn gel
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- First Aid instructions
Read More on What You Need in Your First Aid Box here:
The best way to learn basic First Aid (Level 1), or brush up on your existing First Aid knowledge, is to attend a First Aid course.
“It’s advisable to choose a course that is accredited with the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa and approved by the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA),” concludes Hewlett.
When faced with injuries or illness, having the necessary tools on hand can prevent the damage from progressing.
While you could effectively treat minor illness and injury at home, without consulting a medical professional, we recommend that you contact your doctor if you are unsure of how to treat or manage the emergency.
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.